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Employment Act of 1946

Made it government policy to "promote maximum employment, production, and purchasing power"; Created the Council of Economic Advisers to help make the aforementioned goal possible

Serviceman's Readjustment Act of 1944

Known as the GI Bill of Rights; Allowed all veterans of the war to obtain free college education

George F Kennan

Believed that containment of the Soviets would halt the spread of communism; His beliefs were one of the main reasons Truman introduced his Truman Doctrine

Benjamin Spock

A doctor who wrote the book "The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care"


Fifteen southern states consisted of this area; People migrated to these areas for better opportunities such as California's electric industry; Mass migration of people shifted political power away from the North and Northeast

"white flight"

People moved away from neighborhoods and cities due to migration of African-Americans/other ethnic groups

baby boom

After the war, many soldiers returned home and married; Marriage gave rise to many children, seeing a sharp sudden increase of population

Cold War

Political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition existing after World War II between the Communist world; Primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States and its allies

United Nations

Founded in 1945 after World War II to replace the League of Nations, to stop wars between countries, and to provide a platform for dialogue

Nuremburg Trials

Prosecution of prominent members of the political, military, and economic leadership of the defeated Nazi Germany

Truman Doctrine

Policy set forth by U.S. President Harry S Truman in 1947 stating that the U.S. would support Greece and Turkey with economic and military aid to prevent their falling into the Soviet sphere.

Marshall Plan

Large-scale economic program of the United States for rebuilding and creating a stronger economic foundation for the countries of Europe

National Security Act of 1947

Signed by United States President Harry S. Truman in 1947, and realigned and reorganized the U.S. Armed Forces and foreign policy in the aftermath of World War II


North Atlantic Treaty Organization, also called the (North) Atlantic Alliance; An intergovernmental military alliance based on the North Atlantic Treaty

Loyalty Review Board

board for evaluating american loyalty for men in federal positions.

McCarren Act

Internal Security Act or Subversive Activities Control Act; Required registration of communist organizations, and established board to investigate persons suspected of engaging in subversive activities or otherwise promoting the establishment of a "totalitarian dictatorship," fascist or communist.

Jules and Ethel Rosenberg

Found guilty and convicted of spying for Soviet nuclear weapon development; Had a controversial trial that involved the outcome of their children afterwards.

Thomas Dewey

Governor of New York; Ran for presidency twice; once against Roosevelt and then again against Truman

Point Four Program

Assistance program for "developing countries", support for the unemployed, programs for the economic recovery of Europe from the destruction of the war, and assistance to free nations to resist aggression, and scientific advancement

Fair Deal

A 21 point program by Truman for economic development and welfare, one of the only parts to survive conservative Congress scrutiny was the raising of minimum wage

38th Parallel

Parallel that was used to divide Korea into halve after WWII; North of parallel given to USSR and south given to America

Douglas MacArthur

Occupied Japan after the WWII, moved his troops to South Korea to support their war under Truman's command; Became UN commander of the entire operation to free South Korea; Had a successful attack at first, but soon became a stalemate at the 38th parallel; Suggested to blockade and bomb China; Removed from command on April 11, 1951

Dwight D Eisenhower

"Ike" was looked to for reassuring leadership after decades of depression/war; Easily took the Republican nomination with VP Nixon; Won the election after promising to personally go to Korea, war eventually ended in 7 months after the visit.

Joseph McCarthy / McCarthyism

Wisconsin Senator who accused Sec of State Dean Acheson of employing 205 communist party members. Soon became bolder and wildly accused more after the Rep party victory in 1952; The most merciless red-hunter ever, he brought suspicion and fear to citizens during the Cold War; "Low-Blow Joe" hurt careers of many great politicians, and Citizens approved his crusade; Screwed up when he attacked US Army, had little defense on TV, soon condemned by the Senate for "conduct unbecoming a member" and died of chronic alcoholism.

Rosa Parks

In December 1955, a college-educated black seamstress made history in Montgomery, Alabama for refusing to give up her seat in a white-only section; Sparked a bus boycott

Martin Luther King, Jr.

became a devoted orator for civil rights from both the bible and constitution at 27 years old; Started Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC)

Civil Rights Act of 1957

A mild civil rights act that set up a permanently Civil rights Commission to investigate violations of civil rights and authorized federal command to protect voting rights.

Ho Chi Minh

Legendary Vietnamese leader who came under communist influence; Victoriously rebelled against French forces, and won a split at the 17th parallel; Wanted Vietnam-wide elections within 2 years

Fidel Castro

In 1959, this man took over Fugencio Batista (US supported leader) and took US property for land-distribution.

Brown vs. Board of Education

This legislation reversed the ruling of the Plessy vs. Furgenson case and it ruled that segregation was not in fact equal and therefore all schools must be desegregated.

Hungarian Revolt

This revolt sought the help of Americans when it tried to revolt against the USSR, but the US gave it no help.

Suez Canal

President Gamal Abdel Nasser, of Egypt, needed money to build a dam in the upper Nile and flirted openly with the Soviet side as well as the U.S. and Britain, and upon seeing this blatant communist association, Secretary of State Dulles dramatically withdrew his offer, thus forcing Nasser to nationalize the dam. Late in October 1956, Britain, France, and Israel suddenly attacked Egypt, thinking that the U.S. would supply them with needed oil, as had been the case in WWII, but Eisenhower did not, and the attackers had to withdraw.

Berlin Crisis

At Camp David, talks did show upward signs, as the Soviet premier said that his ultimatum for the evacuation of Berlin would be extended indefinitely.

John F. Kennedy

This democrat beat Nixon as he ran for his second term; This man's VP was Lyndon B. Johnson.

Robert F. Kennedy

He was assassinated by Lee Harvey while on a limo ride at Dallas, Texas.

Lyndon B. Johnson

A Texas congressman who became president after the assassination of JFK; He saw to the passing of the Civil Rights Act. He also established the policy known as the Great Society and fought to prevent poverty. He unfortunately lost his popularity because of the Vietnam War

Robert S. McNamara

He gave up his position as president of Ford Motors in order to take over the defense department. He left the cabinet during the Vietnam War.

Charles de Gaulle

The President of France who vetoed British application for common market membership; He also ordered NATO off French soil when it appeared that the US was bombarding an underdeveloped country unjustly during the Vietnam War.

flexible response

Concept developed by Defense Secretary stating that the US should have an array of military options thatcould match the gravity of whatever crises came to hand. Made after the Laos and Congo conflicts and an example is the "Special Forces"

peaceful coexistence

Suggested by JFK in a speech where he urged Americans to abandon the view of the Soviet Union as a Devil-ridden land filled with fanatics and tried to lay a foundation for better relations with the Soviet Union

New Frontier

Kennedy's social programs; (tax cuts, inflation, and House-rules committee). Also his entrance into office was known as a new frontier because he brought a young, energetic family to the White House for the first time in a while.

War on Poverty

Johnson's program for an anti-poverty nation. This billion-dollar program also doubled the appropriation of the Office of Economic Opportunity to $2 billion

24th Amendment

Ratified in 1964, prevented federal and state governments from taxing people at poll elections.

Great Society

Program set up by Lyndon B. Johnson that resembled FDR's New Deal programs. It aimed to eliminate poverty and racial injustice. Money was also spent on programs addressing education, medical care, urban problems, and transportation. He also established the Department of Housing and Urban Development and Department of Transportation, run by Robert C. Weaver, the first black cabinet secretary in the US.

Voting Rights Act

Established by Johnson in 1965, it attacked racial discrimination at polls. Literacy tests that prevented blacks from voting in the past were outlawed among many other things that previously restricted blacks from voting.

Bay of Pigs

An inlet located in Cuba. An invasion by Cuban rebels wanting to overthrow Fidel Castro took place at this location. This rebellion was supported by the US. Unfortunately, the rebellion ended in failure, leading to the embarrassment of the US.

Cuban Missile Crisis

A confrontation among the Soviet Union, Cuba, and the United States in October 1962 during the Cold War. Cuban and Soviet governments began to build bases in Cuba for a number of medium-range and intermediate-range nuclear missiles with the ability to strike most of the continental United States.

Tonkin Gulf Resolution

A joint resolution which the United States Congress passed in 1964 in response to a sea battle between the North Vietnamese Navy's Torpedo Squadron and the destroyer USS Maddox

Tet offensive

A military campaign during the Vietnam War that began in 1968. The purpose of the offensive was to strike military and civilian command and control centers throughout South Vietnam and to spark a general uprising among the population that would then topple the Saigon government, thus ending the war.

Operation Rolling Thunder

This was the sustained air bombings against North Vietnam by the US Navy, Air Force and Southern Vietnam forces during the Vietnam War.

Civil Rights Act of 1964

Lyndon B. Johnson changed his views from conservative to liberal, passing this act which banned all racial discrimination in most private facilities open to the public, including theaters, hospitals, and restaurants.

March on Washington

Martin Luther King Jr. and his followers went on a march to DC where about 250,000 people came to protest for their rights. This was the biggest display of protest in the history.

Richard Nixon

Skilled in foreign affairs, he was in came up with the ideas of "Vietnamization", détente with China and the USSR, and the Nixon Doctrine where the US would only supply arms and money to the South Vietnamese. He also expanded Great Society programs and introduced the Philadelphia Plan to combat discrimination towards blacks. His popularity was shot down in the infamous Watergate Scandal where he resigned.

Spiro Agnew

Nixon's first vice president who was forced to resign when he was caught evading taxes.

Warren Berger

He was appointed as the new Chief Justice of the Supreme Court by Nixon in hopes of ending a liberal court. He was known for allowing women to have abortions in the Roe vs. Wade case.

Gerald Ford

The first unelected president, he was not popular as he gave away a pardon to Nixon for his scandal and amnesty toward draft dodgers. He also signed the Helsinki accords which temporarily cooled US and USSR relations during the Cold War.

Jimmy Carter

A champion for black rights and privileges. He was also famous for signing peace agreements with nations such as Egypt. He sought to improve energy conservation too. He boycotted the Olympic games in Moscow when US - USSR relations started turning sour. Unfortunately, his popularity fell short with many issues such as an Iran hostage plaguing him.

Henry Kissinger

National Security Adviser to President Nixon, he visited China on behalf of Nixon to encourage better relations between the US and China.

John Dean

A witness to the Watergate Scandal, he testified against Nixon, revealing all the corruption, illegal activities, and scandal that took place in Nixon's administration.


The pulling out of 540,000 US troops. America would turn the war over to the Vietnamese.

SALT I and SALT II Treaties

Known as the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks, it was a talk between the US and the USSR about reducing the number of arms each country possesses. SALT I worked out, but SALT II was unfortunately not ratified.

War Powers Act

United States Congress joint resolution providing that the President can send U.S. armed forces into action abroad only by authorization of Congress or if the United States is already under attack or serious threat.

My Lai massacre

Mass murder conducted by a unit of the U.S. Army on March 16, 1968 of 347-504 unarmed citizens in South Vietnam, all of whom were civilians and a majority of whom were women, children (including babies) and elderly people.

Helsinki accords

Final act of the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe held in Helsinki, Finland, in 1975; Thirty-five states, including the USA, Canada, and all European states except Albania and Andorra, signed the declaration in an attempt to improve relations between the Communist bloc and the West.

Kent State killings

Occurred at Kent State University; involved the shooting of unarmed college students by members of the Ohio National Guard on Monday, May 4, 1970.

Roe vs. Wade

Controversial decision by the United States Supreme Court on the issue of abortion; the Court decided that a right to privacy under the due process clause in the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution extends to a woman's decision to have an abortion.

Pentagon Papers

This is a top-secret United States Department of Defense document which showed the history of the United States' political-military involvement in Vietnam from 1945 to 1967.

Watergate scandal

Political scandal during the 1970s in the United States resulting from the break-in of the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C; led to resignation of Richard Nixon

Twenty-Sixth Amendment

Limited the minimum voting age to no more than 18; adopted in response to student activism against the Vietnam Warand to partially overrule the Supreme Court's decision in Oregon v. Mitchell; adopted in July 1981

Iranian hostage crisis

Diplomatic crisis between Iran and the United States; Fifty-two US citizens were held hostage for 444 days after a group of Islamic students and militants took over the Embassy of the United States in support of the Iranian Revolution.\

Election of 1980

Jimmy Carter v. Ronald Reagan v. John B. Anderson; Ronald Reagan became president

Ronald Reagan

The Republicans chose this conservative former actor, signaling the return of conservatism, since the average American was older than during the stormy sixties and was more likely to favor the right (conservatives); values had been formed before the turbulent sixties, and adopted a stance that depicted "big government" as bad, federal intervention in local affairs as condemnable, and favoritism for minorities as negative.

"supply-side" economics / Reaganomics

The bill favorable to businesses) to lower individual taxes, almost eliminate federal estate taxes, and create new tax-free savings plans for small investors. Supply-side economics claimed that cutting taxes would actually increase government revenue, but instead, during his eight years in office, Reagan accumulated a $2 trillion debt—more than all his presidential predecessors combined.

Strategic Defense Initiative

Popularly known as "Star Wars," which proposed a system of lasers that could fire from space and destroy any nuclear weapons fired by Moscow before they hit America—a system that many experts considered impossible as well as upsetting to the "balance of terror" (don't fire for fear of retaliation) that had kept nuclear war from being unleashed all these years. SDI was never built.

Iran-Contra Scandal

In November 1986, it was revealed that a year before, American diplomats led by Col. Olive North had secretly arranged arms sales to Iranian diplomats in return for the release of American hostages (at least one was) and had used that money to aid Nicaraguan contra rebels.

"Black Monday"

It was the largest one-day percentage decline in stock market history.

Jesse Jackson

assembled a "rainbow coalition" in hopes of becoming president. But, the Democrats finally chose Michael Dukakis, who lost badly to Republican candidate and Reagan's vice president George Herbert Walker Bush, 112 to 426.

Michael Dukakis

The Democratic candidate that got the Democratic backing opposed to Jackson.

George H W Bush

The Republican candidate who beat Dukakis in the elections in a landslide; had been born into a rich family, but he was committed to public service and vowed to sculpt "a kinder, gentler America."

Mikhail Gorbachev

In 1990, Boris Yeltsin stopped a military coup that tried to dislodge ______, then took over Russia when the Soviet Union fell and disintegrated into the Commonwealth of Independent States, of which Russia was the largest member. Thus, the Cold War was over


In 1993, Bush signed this accord with Yeltsin, pledging both nations to reduce their long-range nuclear arsenals by two-thirds within ten years.

Operation Desert Storm

When 539,000 US military forces joined 270,000 troops from 28 other countries to attack Iraq. Congress declared war on Iraq for 37 days during this operation.


Requires public places to have handicapped accessible restrooms.

William J. Clinton

First baby boomer president, lots of controversy including adultery and lying under oath which eventually got him impeached.

Ross Perot

Texas billionaire with nor former political experience who ran for president in 1992, did not win but received 20% of all votes and was most likely responsible for the large turnout.


North America free trade agreement, free trade zone between Canada, Mexico, and the US. Opposed by many protectionists, including labor leaders.

Janet Reno

The first female attorney general.

Sandra Day O'Connor

First female justice on the Supreme Court.

Oklahoma City Bombing

Explosion that destroyed a federal office building in Oklahoma City in 1995. Set off by the branch Davidians, most likely for a standoff between them and federal agents. Killed 168 people including women and children.

Waco, Texas

Where a standoff between the Branch Davidians and federal agents took place. Led later to the Oklahoma City bombing.

Columbine High School

Two students went on a killing spree here, killing twelve fellow students and a teacher, causing serious debates to the availability of guns.

Michael Moore

Filmmaker who made the documentary Bowling for Columbine, about tougher gun control laws.

Alan Greenspan

Chairperson of the Federal Reserve, was first appointed by Reagan, and later by Clinton, skillfully managed to manage economic prosperity.


World Trade Organization, replaced the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) supporting the goal of free-trade advocates/

Clinton-Lewinsky Scandal

Clinton had engaged in sexual affairs with a White House intern, Monica Lewinsky, and a report listed 11 possible grounds for impeachment. Brought the first impeachment trial in 130 years. In the end, the Senate only received 45 guilty votes, 55 not guilty votes.

Million Mom March

In D.C. in May 2000, demonstrated the growing public support for new anti-gun measures.

Election of 2000

A close, controversial election between Albert Gore and George W. Bush. Votes in Florida were extremely close, so the state law called for a recount. A second recount was demanded by democrats for confusing ballots and faulty voting machines and because Bush barely won the majority. Supreme Court ruled 5 weeks after Election Day in Bush's favor. Electoral 271 votes for Bush to 266 votes for Gore.

George W Bush

43rd President who was more of a divider. Withdrew American support from stem cells, heath programs that sanctioned abortion, and social welfare initiatives. Challenged many environmentalists and pressed for a 1.3 trillion dollar tax cut.

USA Patriot Act

2001, permitted extensive telephone and e-mail surveillance, and authorized the detention and deportation of immigrants suspected of terrorism.

"axis of evil"

January, 2002, Bush claimed that North Korea, Iraq and Iran were a great menace to US security. Iran and North Korea had nuclear programs and Iraq supported terrorist organizations.

Iraq War

After the UN didn't find nuclear weapons, US and Britain invaded Iraq in March 19th, 2003. In less than a month, Baghdad fell and Saddam Hussein was driven from power. The US stayed to occupy Iraq and set up an interim government.

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